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The present chapter highlights the social organizations like Maniage,

Family and Kinship of the Todas in Nilgiri. It was interesting to study about

the social system of Toda tribal communities and how their cultural pattern

kffers from the general population with regard to their marriage, family and

lunshp. These concepts are briefly analysied and presented in three sections.



The sexual-relationship m human society is highly constrained Who,

when and with whom one can have this relationship is determined by society.

For regulating sexual-relationship, society has designed and evolved the

institution of marriage. Marriage provides legitimacy for sexual relationshp

between the two particular individuals of opposite sex and grants legitimacy to

the off- springs born out of this relationship. Marriage is a universal institution

of human society. Every society from primitive to modem time has had the

institution of marriage but its form and nature has vaned from time to time,
from society to Society. Likewise wcry tribal community is markad by some

particularities in the institution of maniage.

Marriage is one of the universal social institutions. It is established by

the human society to control and regulate the sex life of man. It is closely

connected with the institution of family. In fact, family and marriage are

complementary to each other.


Harry M. Johnson (1960) has defmed maniage as 'a stable

relationship m which a man and a woman are socially permitted, w~thoutloss

of standing in the community, to have chldren'. According to Collins

Dictionary of Sociology 'marriage is a socially acknowledged and sometimes

legally ratified u o n between an adult male and an adult female'. This type of

union is based on two objectives: sexual gratification and procreation with

soclally sanctioned sex-relationship and economc co-operation.

Broadly speaking, however, marriage may be defined as "a soc~ally

sanctioned sex relabonship Involving two or more people of the opposlte sex,

whose relationship is expected to endure beyond the time required for

gestation and birth of children". - Dunaean Mitchell's "A dictionary of



Toda have the practice of arranging infant marriage which is well

established when the child is only two (or) three years old. The arrangement of

mamage IS made by the boy's father by chooslng a su~tableg ~ r el ~ t h e rfrom

the daughter of the b0y.s mother's brother or of h ~ sfather's s~ster After the

hrlde 1s engaged the father of the boy vls~tcthe glrl's home and after seeing

the girl he agrees for the marrlaae Later after a few day.; the father v~sltsagam

along w ~ t hthe boy to see the g ~ r llntended to marry Whenever he ~ 1 s 1 tthe


p r l ' \ house a glft usually. a cloth will be glven to the g ~ r tl ~ l ishe 15 rnarr~ed

In the same way some times In return the glrl wlll also vlslt the boy', l a m ~ l y

nut she remains at her home untll she reaches the age of I 5 (or) I6 years

E,ven today the Todas use to follow the same practice of arranging thelr

The boy w ~ l lpartle~paleIn all the funct~on\and ceremonies whrch

take place 111 the g ~ r l ' sf a m ~ l yIn earl~erdays when any death takes place. In

tile g~rl'.;farn~lq.the boy's fanilly w ~ l gl ~ v ae rupee and even g n c ;I buffalo for

sa;r,fice 111 the funeral of the pirl's hou5e The c o r l t r ~ b u t ~01'o ~buffalo
~ (or)

.l able: 4.1 Selection of Spouse Relatior~sl~ip

for nlarriage by Tc~da


Mother's L3rothcr's
Daughter Son (i'atenlrl)

Son (Maternal)
. .
Father's S~ster'sDaughter' 1


82 25

20 14


l --
~ -
~ -~
' ~

~ ~-t
, ~ ~
The table 4.1 depicts the selection pattern of the spouse and their

r e l a t i o ~ h i ~ .Usually the Todas select their life paturn within their

community, mostly among close blood relatives. The study reveals that about

82.25 per cent of the Todas selected theu spouses from their maternal side i.e.

the mother's brother's son or daughter. About 29.14 per cent of the sample

population s a y that, they selected their spouse from their paternal side i.e.

father's sister's son or daughter. It was reported that 8.61 per cent of the

Todas selected their life partner from new relation within their community.

~ u t the
, study reveals that majority of the Todas selected the~rlife partners

from their maternal side.

If the marriage is fixed during the childhood period, until the mamage

the boy will visit the girl's house atleast twice in a year till the girl reaches the

age of 10 years. Every time the boy will give a tatrp (a kind of garments twice

tn a year) to the girl Until they get united. At the same time if a boy is not

engaged for maniage during his childhood, maniage will be arranged during

h ~ teenage.

The table 4.2 shows the time of conducting mamages. The Todas

celebrate the marriage only during day time .The marriage timings will fall

between 12 noon to 2.00 p.m. The Toda marriages will be celebrated only

dUhg the New Moon day. The study found that 32.45 per cent of the

marriages were held during 12 noon, followed by 29 14 per cent, 19.97 per

cent, 13.91 per cent and 4.64 per cent by 12.30 P.M.,
1.00 P.M.,1.30 p.m. and
2 00 p In respectively Generally. the Toda marriages will be held before

lunch tlme After cornplet~onof the mamage a feast IS hosted

As ~t has been d~scussedearl~er,the Todas are polyandry society. who

celebrates t h e ~ rnamages
r after c o n f i m n g t h e ~ fr e r t ~ l ~ t yThe researcher madc

an attempt to study whether they select the partner bcfore puberty or after

puberty The study found that even ~f the g ~ r lI S a mlnor she will he niarrled

only after she attalns puberty According to the Todas' hel~ef.~f the g ~ r l sarc

not engaged for marriage. t h e ~ God

r w ~ l curw
l t h e ~ fam~ly

Table: 4.2 The Scheduled time of Marriage by the Toda

I 1 2 00 noon '
: 49 1
32 45

.I otal 151 100.00
L- -- - -1

The f e r t ~ l ~rate
t y 1s ~nfluencedby the age at marriage Getting rnamed

at a n early age, and low levels of fam~lyplann~npacceptance seemed to be

responsible for the htgh fert~llty The ~nstltutlonof marrlage occuple\ an

~tnportant place among all soc~al ~nstltutlons Thc tr~hals also con\~der

marnage as an essent~alpart of l ~ f e The table 4 3 shows the age at marnage

among the Toda tr~balwomen In N l l g ~ r ~ s Out of the total 380 marrred

the hlghest 206 (54 21 per cent) of thein had got marr~edat the

age of 16 to 19 years T h ~ swas followed by 20 - 23 years, 12 - 15 years 24-

28 years and above 29 years hy 22 l l per cent. 19 2 1 per cent. 4 2 1 per cent

and 0 26 per cent respect~vely It was also observed that among the total

married people only one person had got marrred at the age of above 29 years

From t h ~ cstudy ~t 1s understood that the Toda's are very particular to get

lnarr~edat teenagc

Table: 4.3. Age-wise Distribution of the Age a t Marriage among the Toda

4 21 I

I 0 26


The study had made an attempt to k n o ~ahout the ~ntercaste and Inter

r e l ~ g ~ o ulnarrrage
s and t h e ~ roplnlon IS exhlh~tedIn the table 4 4 Among thc

total 15 1 household X6 09 per cent of them are of the oplnlon that Inter caste

lnarrlages are not acceptable and ~t IS had to t h e ~ cr o r ~ u ~ ~ u n

t y per cent of
the household are of the optnion that inter caste marriages are good and should

be encouraged As such, among 151 household, 7 2 85 per cent of them

express t h e ~ rview that inter-rel~gionmarriage IS bad for the Toda communlty,

and 27 15 per cent is of oplnlon that inter-religton mamage IS good But In

general the study analyzed that majorlty of Toda people are agalnst tnter-caste

and ~ n t e r - r e l ~ g ~marriages

Figure:4.1. Age wise distribution of Age at


12-15 16-19 20-23 24-28 29+

Age Group

Table: 4.4. The Opinion of Inter Caste or Inter Religion Marriage by the
Toda Tribes

C SI. No. Particulars

No. of

13 91
Inter-caste Not Acceptable 130 86 09

Total 151 100.00

Acceptable 41 27.15

Inter Rellg~on Not Acceptable 110 72.85

Total 151 100.00

At the age of 15 (or) 16 the girl joins her husband and llves with h ~ m

in his v~llage,with a small ceremony of visltlng parents of the boy and they

take her home lnfact there i s no ceremony of any kind The girl when she

loins her husband with her clothes and ornaments, 11 I S known as urlrpmr, In

other words a h n d of dowry to the boy's f a m l y

The table 4 5 shows the people who inslst dowry There I\ a practice

among the Todas that the tribe has to pay a bride price, apart from the amount

the br~de's family pays as dowry The study found that among the 151

household every one ( 100 per cent) says that the dowry amount wah negotiated

and this dowry was insisted by the bridegroom'\ family

'I'ablr: 4.5 Number of Toda Households who insist Dowry

.I'tus is called pit~klrlr-razdr-~~trt,

("wllich means mantle over hc puts")

If a man is from Tartharol the glrl will be from Telvali (or) IS the girl helongs

to lartharol inan IS be from 7e1vali Thus man f'rorn the other clan vis~tthe

girls house and lying down b e s ~ d eher puts his mantle over her so that it covers
both and thcy remain there for a few minutes and then he goes back. This

custom taka place before the girls reaches puberty. But at the same time the

Todas do not perform any puberty ceremonies.


The Todas have very strict restriction towards the selection of life

partner by the individual. No man (or) woman can many a member of the

same sub clan but they can marry from another sub clan. It is followed even


There is also strict prevention for maniage between T a o l and the

Teivalion, because these groups are endogamous. Marriage with the same clan

is considered to be a great crime and there is strict prohibition of sexual

Intercourse within the clan.

The table 4.6 examines the opinion about the married life of the

Todas About 380 Toda married individuals have been investigated and

analyzed about the views of their married life are analyzed Among the sample

of 380 individuals, 367 persons says that their manied life is happy and of

which 52.59 per cent are female and 47.41 per cent are male. The rest 7 of

them are of the opinion that their married life was unhappy and 3 each falls

under the oplnion satisfactory and dominated. In majority of the cases the

Todas w a e of the view that man get full respect from the society when he gets
married. They also believe that maniage makes man more responsible and
hence it IS a must In everyone's l ~ f eThe study also found that a rnajorlty of'

the T'odas are of the oplnlon that t h e ~ r~ n a r r ~ elife

d I \ happy

Table: 4.6 The Opinion of Married Couples about the Married life by the
Toda tribes

-I--. -.

I Happy I Fernale 193 .--- .


. I 1 Total 1
367 100.00

1 Male

, Unhappy 5 71 43

~ Total
--- --- - .-

i 'I Sat~\factorq. 1

! Total


~ - ~.-


66 67


,-- -

l)c>rn~ndlcd ;

I ernale

_~-_ 2
.I - - _ - ~ ~
) Total 3 I 100.00
. .. . I
- -
. .
M,iIc 178 ! 100 00
, .--~ - -
I ,411 Total l e111,tle 202 100 00
I I-
! Total 380 100.00
~ -- -- p

There are certaln specla1 p r o h ~ b ~ t ~ obetween

ns thc member\ of

part~cular clan l o r Instance In T'artharvl. the clan called Pnrtoal are not
allowed to marry In the clan by name Kundodrsol and 111s due to a murder that

took place In the Panoul clan

The table 4 7 examlnes the type of Inamage among the Today

Among the total of 151 households only one case I e 0 66 per cent of the

I~ousetioldhad a love marrlage A ~najorltyof 99 34 per cent of the Todas got

rnarr~ed by negot~at~on There was not even a slngle case representmy

lnarrlage by servlce or by elopement It is clear from the study that the Toda

mamages are arranged by negotlatlon In Toda culture, ~fany one of them had

love marnage to other tnbe or caste the couple is not allowed to enter the 1oda

mund (v~llage)But love marrlage w~thint h e ~ rt r ~ b e1s accepted and they are

permttted to stay In the tr~balvtllages

'l'able: 4.7 The Type of Marriage System by the Toda Tribes

1 Negot~at~on

1 3
- Lovc
1 -
0 66
I --

. ,-
151 , - --

The table 4 X exhlb~ts~ h epreferencc of the Todas to conduct the

Inarrlagc of t h e ~ rdaughter at a mulor age About 54 60 per cent of them are of

the oplnlon that they dld not prefer to get t h e ~ rdaughter ~ n a r r ~ eatd a llllnor
age, but at the same tlme 40 40 per cent prefer to get them daughter marr~edat

a mlnor age Thls IS because they feel that they would not lrke to break the11

culture of arranging the marrlage of t h e ~ rdaughter ~mmed~ately

.~ftershe attamed puberty They belleve that rf the m:image IS postponed. thelr

god wrll not bless them w ~ t ha chrld I e the fert~lrtyw ~ l be

l cursed

Table: 4.8. Preference to Conduct Marriage at Minor Age

1; --
i No
~ e s

Total 1
: 59 60



A rnan can drvorce h ~ w

s ~ f cfor of two reasons If she does not adlust

~ v i ~her
h hushand and second one 1s ~f \he 15 lazy and does not work at home

I here u.erc ~ n c ~ d e nlrhe

t \ that a nlan d~vorcedhrs w ~ f ebecause she \\ah not

ni>lc to do hcr dome\t~cwork Thc ~ l l n c i \of t l ~ eI~uqbancican also I,? rcp,~rded

'I, ,I reawn fix a \$,omen to d~\orcr:Hut 5urprlslngl) ~llegalsexual relat~on<hry>

I\ rlot cons~dereda reawn for d~vorcc

The table 4 4 ~llustratcsahout the oprnron about the prdctlce of dl\ orce

arnong the lnarr~edcouples Ati~ongthe sample af 11.1 households. wll~le

malontles of 76 82 per cent of them agree for legal separatron I e for d~vorce

23 1 X per cent of them were agalnst to divorce I3ut. those who are In f,l\ or of
divorce say that Instead of 11vtngtogether wrthour understandtng, it 1s better to

he separated legally, so that they can lead a peaceful ltfe

Table: 4.9. The Opinion about the Practice of Lhvorce by the Toda's

1 / Agree



-- I

7682 /

1 odas have an absolute praLttce of polyandry systcni of rnarrtage. In

W ~ I C I I when a woman marncs a man. 11 is understood that she become< the

\4 if2 of the hridegroorn's brothers too, and all 11th later horn brothers u i l l also

Iia\c tlic nght of\harrnp that plrl

L3u1 ti1 t h c pre.;ent gencrdtlon tht\ custom of polyandry \yilcrn of

tiiarri,igc I\ tollofied In a \cry few rratn11tt.s and thc Todd trthe\ \t<~nedt o

\ysleni of nlarrldge In edrlic~d a j \ wllen

lollor\ the ~nonogarllyor poIyg;ln~~

lllc hu\band (or) hu\band\ move froin one vil1,tge to another the?. can trancfer

their wt\e\ tn one husband ( 0 1 )group ol'hushar~diand tlu* practlcr IS called as

7vrc~r:crhlIt IS like compcnsatlon settled by the cou11c11 pntd by the earl~er

husband (or) group of hubbarlds to another new hushnnd (or) husbands

The mar~talstatus of 7'oda tribes In Nllgtris has been exh~hltcdIn the

table 4 10 whlch illustrate that out of 675 lndlvlduals In 15 1 households the

highest of 51 70 per cent of the populat~onare marr~edand the unrnarr~ed

populat~onwas 43 70 per cent T h s was followed by 4 44 per cent who are

w~dowsand 0 15 per cent d~vorcedI e only one lnd~vtdualamong the total

population was found dlvorced

Table: 4.10. The Marital Status of the Toda Tribes in Nilgiri

~ .-
3 1 I>tvorced

--- I




0 15

0 00

Figure:4.2, Marriatal stauts of the Toda





Marrlage leads to the formation of family The family 1s a universal

Institution and has existed through out the hrstory of soclety With the passage

of tlrne, fam~lyhas undergone changes galnlng and losing vanour shapes and

charactenst~cs.The present age of economic development and cultural revival

have posed some new challenges to the lnstltutlon of famlly leading to radical

changes in the structures and functions of family. In the Western socreties, the

very existence of family appears to be threatened. However, the lnstltut~onof

family is survrving and will surv~vefor the survival of the soclety itself.
The family is the, simplest and the most important primary group in

society. It is the most basic of all social groupings. It is also the first and the

most immediate social environment to which a child is exposed and it is in the

family that the child develops its basic attitudes.

4.11. DEFUil'l'ION

Family, basically, is made up of individuals having kinship

relationship among themselves. The smallest family consists of the husband

and wife with or without children. Such a family is also called a nuclear

family. A man with his children or a woman with her children can also

constitute a family. This is called a single-parent family. A family may even

consists of persons of a few more generations living together and other

relatives forming an extended family. Such an arrangement is also known by

the name 'household'. The family is a durable group fulfilling the basic

functions of sex relationship, procreation and several other needs such as the

maintenance and socialisation of the children.

M F Nirnkof (1950) says that "Family 1s a more or less durable

association of husband and wife with or without child, or of a man or woman

alone. with children".

Burgess and Locke "Family is a group of persons united by ties of

marriage, blood or adoption constituting a single household interactmg and

intercommunicatingwith each other in their respective social roles of husband

and wife, father and mother, son and daughter, brother and sister, creating a

common culture''.

Maclwr (1924) Family is "a group defined by sex relationship

sufficiently precise and enduring to provide for the procreation and upbringing

of children".


A h the marriage the couple fmt live together with the bridegrooms

family as a joint family and further it will be extended within their house or

sometimes they live as an individual family which is called as nuclear family.

The study found that about 68 per cent of the Todas in the study area are

leading a nuclear family.

The daily life has revolved around the activities of herdsman. Both

morning and evening every day the buffaloes should be milked. Milking the

temple buffaloes is carried out by the dairy man or the priest and the domestlc

buffaloes milked by the owners. A h the collection of milk, the buttering will

be done by the respectwe man.

In these activities the women will not participate and there is a strict

restriction for women. The domestic work, cleaning the vessels, kitchen work

and embroidery are all done by the women.

The major task of the female Toda is housekeeping. Traditionally, the

Toda women are associated with the three major works like sweeping the hut,
pounding the grains and then winnowing it. But in the present days they sweep
the hut, prepare food, clean the vessels and cloth, rear children and do

embroidery work during their leisure time.

In present days, out of their routine work of rearing their herds a

wnsidetable number of Toda males are engaged in agricultural actives like

tilling the soil and raising crops and they were also placed in different service

sectors. Today the female Todas are they are posted in government and non

governmental organization and even they were marketing their unique hand

made embroidered cloths such as tablecloths, placemats shawls and bedcovers

through Toda Multipurpose Society.

The family life of Todas can be seen from the delivery of a child by a

woman. Man will not have any work in these events and he will wait outside

to know the result. Three (or) four women will take care of the mother's

del~veryand help the woman by supporting her. On the morning after the birth

of the child the mother is removed to a shed, purzarsh and she will be there till

the next new moon, muttu. After a month the mother and the child return

home. The child will be kept out of sight untll the naming ceremony. Before

naming the father of child takes the child by covering the face to the buffalo

pen. The mother accompanies in going to the buffalo pen. Standing in front of

the door, but outside of the surrounding wall, salutes sanctuary with the hand

to the fore head. The father kneels down on the ground and he opens infant

head for vision and he will press the little fore head to touch the soil. Then the

child will be named and it is followed by feeding the child with solid food.
With regard to naming the girl child, the child will not be taken to the pen but

the father calls the baby some name. A feast is arranged for the nearest


As for the children's education is concerned most of them are now

attending schools and some of them are studying, in the Government Tribal

Residential Schools (GTRS). During the holidays these children particularly

the drop out students help their fathers with the buffalo herding, while girls

assist their mothers with all kinds of domestic duties; fetching water,

sweeping, washing dishes and most importantly perhaps, taking care of

younger siblings.


In the preceding chapter as it was discussed, by many authors, family

is a group consisting of close relatives. These relatives are known as kins or

kindred. Kinship system is also seen as a method of organising marriage-

relations between groups. Through marriage, Levi-Struass obsuves, members

are recruited to kinship groups. A female is recruited as wife, as daughter-in-

law and so on through her marriage into another group and a male through his

marriage is recruited as husband, son-in- law of hls wife's parents' group. The

b h i p group's alliances, thus, are transacted through marriage. The members

of the family are linked with one another by kinship bonds based on blood

relationship with only exception of husband and wife who are bound by

marriage. Every member of the family behaves and expects others to behave in

particular ways as sanctioned by social norms. This behavior pattern is learnt

by the lndlvidual through socialization process The mutual expectations in the

family are based on kinshp ties A kinship system is not an unorgamzed

aggregation of individuals. It is a system in which the relations between

Individuals in the family and between families are organized. "It is"' as

defined by G.P. Murdock "merely a structured system of relationship in whch

individuals are bound to one another by complex Interlocking and ramifying

ties". Radcliffe-Brown looks at kinshlp system as a part of social structure and

insists upon the study of kinship as a field of rights and obligations. Kinship
bonds arc very strong and considerably expanded in tribal societies and also in

rural communities. Along with modemisation, technological development, the

kinship system has shrunk and has got circumscribed to only 'not so distant

relatives'. Studies of kinship system have been done, largely by social

anthropologists and only a few of them by the sociologists. The names of

some important anthropologists associated with studies of kinship are: hvers,

Kroeber, Lowie, Radcliffe-Brown and Irawati Karve.

The kinship is helpful to study the means of genealogies. The Todas

are having a well planned kinship and which has got some interesting features

also. The most important feature is the use of the same tenns for mother's

brother and father-in-law on one hand but on the other for father's sister and

mother in law. The important feature of the Todas is the system of existence of

two well-marked groups of tenns expressing bonds of kinship. One is with

speaking of relatives and another one is speakmg to relatives.

The following are the meaning of Toda Kinship. With regard to grand-

father they call it Pian and it is used to refer to both paternal and maternal

grand-father and also the~rbrothers. In regard to grand mother they call ~t

piau and it is for both paternal and maternal grand mother. For father they call

rn and mother they call av. The following way they call other family members

for son mokh, for daughter kugh, for grandson mokh pedvar mokh, for grand

daughter mojgpcdvrri kugh, for elder brother an, for brother of same age egal,

for younger brother nodwed, for elder sister akkan, for younger sister

nodrvedkugh, for mother's brother and wife's father mun, for father's sister
and wife's mother mumi, for sister's son manmokh, for child of a mother's

brother and father's sister matchuni, for husband or for wife kotvai, for

general name for male relatives of wifepaiol, for son's wife motviIth.

Another interesting pointing is that the Toda system has two set of

kinship terms, those used in direct address and those used when speaking of

relatives who do not comspond closely with one another. This system

distinguishes widely between elder and younger member of the family and


The Todas never mention their rnun (mother's brother and wife's father)

In case if one wants to clear to whom he is nfening to he will mention only

the place of his mun. Sirmlarly a man is also prohibited in mentioning the

name of the father-in-law and mother- in- law.(mumi). He may not pronounce

the name of pian. Some say the toda men do not say the name of wife but

there is no any definite prohibition.

The taboos are for wider to mention the names of dead relatives. No

one is allowed to refer the name of dead relabve especially the dead relatives

elder to the speaker. If the man wants to mention the dead relative he will

mention the village of the deceased.


There are well defined salutations which are followed in toda lanship.

The toda salutation is called kulmel pudithti. It is like one person l a a l s (or)

bows down before another, while the later raises cach foot and touches the

fore head of the others. Generally women salute elders, male relatives and then

keep their heads bcncath the feet of their pian, in, an, or mun. Usually this

salutation can be seen every day whenever the women see first time the male

elder person on that day. Generally women will pay to men but in special

occasion men also bow down to other men and women. On some occasions

the Tarthar woman may have a Teivali mun and vice-versa.

A man greets another elder brother (or) any person whom he calls

anna. Any individual who greets the younger brother (or) any other younger

person who calls him as enda.

If any new elder Toda comes and joins the people there will be many

salutations to greet every one in the family. He will greet by proper salutabon

because it is very i m p o m t for the new comer. Salutations for the dead person

will be canied out by every one. When the body reaches the funeral place the

salutations will be carried by all who present by bowing down to the feet of

the dead person.


The bas~cfeature of social orgaruzation is depends on the div~s~on


the community. In Toda also there are two distinct groups, they are Tarrharol

and Teivaliol. These two clans are endogamous divisions of Toda. Each clan
holds group of villages and haves the names from the chief of the villages

which is called etudmad and people are called madol. The Tartharol clan is
divided into twelve clans and Teivaliol clan into six clans. The Tartharol clans

are follows; Nodrs. Kars, Pan, Taradr, Keradr, Kanodrs, Kwodrdoni. Pan,
Nidrsi, Melgars, kidrnad and Karsh. The Teivaliol an divided into six and

they are, Kuudr, Piedr, kusharj Keadr, Pedrkars and Kulhem

Toda Clan

1 1

1. Nodrs 1. Kuudr
2. Kars 2. Piedr
3. Pan 3. Kusharf
4. Taradr 4. Keadr
5. Keradr 5. Pedrkars
6. Kanodrs 6. Kulhem
7. Kwodrdoni
8. Pan
9. Nidrsi
10. Melgars
1 1. Kidrnad
The clan is a territorial system and they own a number of villages

having the same clan name, ehrdmad which is the chief. Generally the

villagers belonging to a clan will be situated in the same part of the hills but

there are outlying villages which an recently originated. The clan members

will have common rights and privileges which will b i d them together. Todas

are divided into 5 clans and they are.peiki, pekkan, kanna, todi and kuttan.

They are very much acquainted with these five divisions and if anybody a s k ~ d

they will mention the village and the name of the clan, in order to make their

identity clear.

Each clan has two kinds of divisions called kudr andpolm and they

are for the purpose of cmmonial and practical importance respectively. The

kudr has greatest importance in regard to the ceremony of irnortili on the other
hand polm which means "portion", and it is the name for a section of clan that

regulates the sharing of any expenses which falls for the whole clan. In other

worlds the expenses are divided equally by the Individual members in the clan


The descent m To& falls on the male line. As like as father a boy in

the Toda will be in the same clan. Father we mean who has given bow and

arrow to his mother at the purisiitpimr. Even though the mother belongs to

Teivali and father belongs Tarthar but the son will be belong to only the

father's clan and not to mother's clan. The child of a Teivali mother in such a

case not Teivali because the mother does not belongs to the same division but
at the same time a Teivali man only is allowed to perform purisiitpimi

ceremony with the Teivali women and become the legal father of the child. If

in such a case, thepunkiipimi ceremony had not been performed and the child

would belong to the division and clan of neither father nor mother but would

be apadmokh, of no division and of no clan.

The chief clan is decided entirely by purisiitpimi ceremony. For

example, if husband is of a different clan in the polyandry marriage, the child

will belong to husband clans. If one of the husbands dies, he becomes as a

legal father for all children and other husbands who are living cannot perform

bow and arrow to their wife. If a Toda woman becomes pregnant before

marriage and for some reason or other the would be husband breaks the

marriage or if he is prevented from marriage another man will perform

purisiitpimi ceremony and he becomes husband and father for the child. In

many cases the transfer of wives takes place by the terresthi custom and one

will be real father while another will be the legal father.

In Toda village man's mother is called knruvnodr which means

"honored place" if any Toda visits karuvnodr, first he goes near the door of

da~ryand bows down and then visits the village man's mother. In other words

every one who visits the village first, time has to bow down at the door of

dairy and then proceed further.

In the prcsent chapter it has been discussed that marnage is essential to
every one's life, so as to regularize their sex l ~ f ewhlch has its close association to

llve as a family. The study reveals that the Todas follow the polyandry system of

marriage but now-a-days only very few of them follow it and the rest prefers to adopt

monogamy system of marriage. It was inferred from the study that about 82.25 per

cent of the Todas had married from maternal relation and about 95 per cent of their

marriages were held m the age of 12-23 yetus. Almost 96.58 per cent of the Toda

couples say that thar married life is happy. It is observed from the study that 99 34

per cent of the marriages took place by negotiation and it IS noted that there is not

even a single case of separabon m the study area and almost 52 per cent of the

sample population are married. The Todas have the practice of offenng dowry to the

bridegroom, in wbch buffalos should be gven as dowry. The male Todas graze the

herds and the female are engaged in house kccplng The Todas usually respect the~r

e l d m and they seek their blessings and the younger ones do not call elders by thew